Britain will find ways to stay competitive if no EU deal: Hammond

Reuters News
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Posted: Jan 19, 2017 2:18 AM

DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) - British finance minister Philip Hammond warned the European Union on Thursday that if there was no "comprehensive trading relationship" after Brexit, the government would be forced to find ways to remain competitive.

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Hammond told Reuters that Britain already had a competitive tax system and it was "not indicative of any kind of race to the bottom".

"We have to remain competitive. The best way to do that is to have a comprehensive trading relationship with the European Union, our closest neighbours," he said.

"But if we can't achieve that then we will have to find other ways to maintain our competitiveness, because our first obligation of government is to make sure that our people are able to maintain their standard of living."

(Reporting by Stephen Adler and Elizabeth Piper, editing by Sujata Rao)